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Fishin' Mania On The Marsh At The Meadow!
| Blue Bayou |
Wednesday, February 9th, 2000.
So this morning, just after sunup, Capt. John Aucoin, Brian Lukas (my cameraman on this shoot), and myself launched behind Chick's in Golden Meadow, crossed Catfish Lake, and headed straight for Bayou Blue (no particular reason--we just had a gut feeling). Less than ten minutes after coasting to a stop, we were soundly convinced that hunches do work! The reds had begun eatin' us up!!
We had strikes from juvies less than 12 inches, busted tackle from fish going well over 10 pounds, frayed line from runaways that dragged the cocahoes over the oyster reefs, and breakoffs we finally quit counting because they became so numerous. And when the last fish hit the ice chest to tally our limit, we suddenly realized that we had never left the shoreline oyster reefs in Bayou Blue!
So that's where I'm telling you to go this weekend if you wanna catch fish. Work the oyster reefs in "Blue." Yeah, I know--Bayou Blue is loaded with oyster reefs, Well, we caught our fish (which included not only reds, but flounder, sheepshead, drum, and the occasional trout) at N29*23.358 and W90*20.699. But you need to know that these fish are moving in schools and you'll have to move with them.
Use your trolling motor (or drift) and keep scouting and sampling until you hit fish. When you do, ease the anchor over (notice I said "ease" and not throw or toss) and fish until the bites stop. Then hoist anchor and move again to find where the fish have gone. That's how you catch fish this weekend (and possibly for the next month or so) at Bayou Blue and everywhere else you intend to wet a line.
Now, here's how you fish and what you fish with:
If you follow just this information alone, you'll have a whole lot of fun this weekend and you'll go home with a full limit of a variety of fish. Just be careful and courteous on the water!
- For the reds, hold about 30 yards off the bank and make long casts to about three feet off the bank. The fish are not up on the grassy flats; they're closer to the drop-off where the shelf falls to deeper water. They're taking two kinds of bait--live cocahoe minnows as well as smoke-flake splittail grubs. Both need to be rigged on quarter-ounce leadhead jigs, not Carolina rigs. The trick is to get the bait all the way to the bottom and fish it there. You don't want it moving freely in the current--these fish are cold and they just won't chase it down.
- For the trout, once you're in position to fish redfish, make an occasional cast to the opposite side of the boat (in other words cast away from the bank out into the middlle of the bayou). At that point, work the bait (again, either live cocahoe or split-tail grub) slowly back to the boat with a twitching motion. Most of the trout will hit it on the fall.
- For flounders, again cast in the direction of the bank. But instead of letting it sit (like you do to fish the reds), very slowly drag it back to the boat, using the rise and fall of the rodtip to create the action. If suddenly you sense that you've snagged something on the bottom, set the hook! While it could be shell or grass root, it could also be a doormat flounder! That's exactly how they bite! Oh, yeah, and live cocahoes produce most of these fish.
- For sheepshead and drum, with the boat in position to catch reds (and remember, you're still in the same spot in Bayou Blue), this time cast halfway between the boat and the bank. Most of the drum and sheepshead are holding right where the shallow shelf drops off into slightly deeper water. Use the same unpainted quarter-ounce leadhead jig, but instead of live cocahoes bait it with market shrimp. Make the cast, let the bait sink, lock the bail, and hold the line extremely taut. The instant you feel the nibble, set the hook hard!
Next Week: Fishin' Lafitte With Phil! Click here to print this article
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